|Issue 2, June 1, 1999
This Month's Articles
The Physical Adept: Not Just a Warrior/Mage
By Clinton R. Nixon
The physical adept is a master of his own inner strength, which he augments with magic. Physical adepts train for years with their brethren at secluded schools. The first physical adept, and the founder of the art, was a knight in Mystra's service. The knowledge has spread since then, but a large portion of physical adepts are avid followers of Mystra.
Physical adepts do not have as rigid of a code of honor as a paladin, but are generally honorable. They think of themselves as knights--knights with a dangerous knowledge.
The main differences between this class and a warrior/mage are: a) physical adepts lack the raw combat skills of fighters, because of their magic studies and b) their spells are limited to a personal range. The spells of an adept can affect only his own body, but combined with his formidable knowledge of combat skills, he can be a devastating opponent.
The Weapon Focus
All adepts have a weapon as a focus for the release of their magical energy. This focus also works as a spellbook, storing their spells. They have no ability to scribe spells, although they can cast Read Magic normally. Instead, they have a supernatural bond with their weapon, allowing them to store their magical knowlege within it. Another limit these adepts have is that their weapon can only hold half of the normal amount of spells a wizard with their comparable Intelligence could keep in their spell books (rounded up). The weapon has additional powers, however.
1st level: The weapon counts as magical for purposes of hitting creatures immune to normal weapons. The weapon can hit creatures as if it had a bonus equal to the adept's spell level; however, it confers no actual bonus.
5th level: The weapon, if not in the hands of someone else and within 50 feet of the adept, can teleport to his hands with a single word. This includes from the scabbard of the adept, and takes no time, allowing an attack the same round.
10th level: The weapon gains an intelligence equal to the adept's Intelligence minus one and the same alignment as the adept's.
The weakness of this weapon is: if it is stolen, the adept loses all his magical powers, and cannot prepare another weapon focus for one month. However, if the adept wishes to change his focus at any time, he simply must spend a week with both weapons (the new weapon must be of the same type as the first, basically limiting an adept to one weapon type) transferring the power of the weapon. The other weakness of the focus is that it must be held for the adept to cast a spell.
Adept Technical Details
Weapon choice: Physical adepts can use any one-handed weapons made for hand-to-hand combat; however, they do not use missile weapons of any sort. (A generous GM might allow you to throw a dagger, but you would still receive the non-proficient penalty). Two-handed weapons prevent them from casting spells.
Armor: Adepts can cast spells in up to studded leather armor (or elven chain). This is a major boon for them, but they cannot use shields because they must have one hand free to cast their spells.
Exceptional Strength: No.
Hit points: Adepts roll a d6 for hit points, but can have exceptional Constitution bonuses.
THAC0: Adepts use the priest THAC0 chart.
Saving throws: Adepts have the saving throws of a warrior.
Proficiencies: Adepts have the proficiency progression (weapon and non-weapon) of a rogue, and can choose from the Warrior and Wizard NWPs.
Spell progression: Wizard.
Experience table: Wizard
GM's should feel free to add other spells from other sources; however, increasing the adept's spell list too much could potentially make him or her overpowering.
Armor; Burning Hands; Cantrip; Chill Touch; Detect Magic; Enlarge (s); Mount; Protection from Evil (s); Read Magic; Shocking Grasp (Note: In my campaign, just as a normal wizard makes an attack with his hand for Shocking Grasp, I have let physical adepts attack with their sword); Fist of Stone +; Detect Phase #; Detect Secret Passages and Portals #; Expeditious Retreat #; Protection from Vermin (s) #.
Alter Self; Blur; Detect Evil; Detect Invisibility; ESP; Invisibility; Levitate (s); Know Alignment; Mirror Image; Strength; Protection from Paralysis (s) +; Cat's Grace (s) #; Displace Self #; Protection from Poison (s) #
Blink; Dispel Magic (s); Feign Death (s); Fly (s); Haste (s); Infravision (s); Phantom Steed; Vampiric Touch; Water Breathing (s); Wraithform; Spirit Armor +; Protection from Amorphs (s) #
Detect Scrying; Dimension Door; Fire Shield; Improved Invisibility (s); Minor Globe of Invulnerability; Polymorph Self; Shout; Stoneskin (s); Wizard Eye; Locate Creature +; Minor Spell Turning +; Improved Strength (s) #; Psychic Protection (s) #; Ultravision (s)#
Contact Other Plane; Dream (s); False Vision; Magic Jar; Sending; Telekinesis; Teleport; Safeguarding +; Improved Blink (s)
Anti-Magic Shell; Contingency; Enchant an Item; Eyebite; Globe of Invulnerability; Legend Lore; Mordenkainen's Lucubration; Project Image; Repulsion; Tenser's Transformation; Bloodstone's Spectral Steed +; Claws of the Umber Hulk (s) +
Duo-Dimension; Limited Wish (s); Power Word, Stun; Shadow Walk (s); Spell Turning; Statue (s); Teleport Without Error (s); Vision
Mind Blank (s); Permanency; Power Word, Blind; Serten's Spell Immunity (s); Homonculus Shield +
Astral Spell (s); Foresight; Power Word, Kill; Shape Change; Time Stop; Wish (s); Chain Contingency +; Elemental Aura +; Wail of the Banshee +
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The Writhing Wraith Inn
Stories and tips on how to let your PC's run a business.
By Dan Rosenthal, (aka Clavicus)
"Welcome travellers" a buxom waitress tells you as you enter the weathered doors to the Inn. Flipping a few gold coins to the barkeep, Clavicus, he pours you a stout grog and begins to tell you the latest stories and rumors.
"Well, it seems a lot of people been going 'round trying ta start 'emselves up a business. I tell ya, it's not for th' faint o' heart. Ya get suppy problems o' every kind, bandits rampaging' round, and ya gotta pay yer labor. But cause I'm feelin' good t'day, I'll let ya in on the secret.
Starting up an Inn
Well, it makes sense not ta start up a business until ya got the money to pay fer it. Gettin' that sorta cash or payin of a loan can be several adventures in themselves. One thing ya might want ta do is as a reward, have a villan be carrying the title to the business in his hoard. Mind you, this would be after a major battle. If yer a GM, ya might wanna wait until they get to 9th level. Then they officialy get to hold estate.
If yer building up an inn yerself, ya gotta hire laborers. You also gotta find a suitable place: someplace where travellers go by frequently, that is moderately safe (gotta have some danger!) and low in competition. Then ya gotta set up yer supply lines. This could be several more adventures, what with gettin' people ta like you, and lettin' people know about yer fine establishment. 'Course, other inn owners might get a bit touchy about this and might take action.....
Clavicus pulls a glowing blue bastard sword and 2 glowing green scimitars from under the bar. Thats what these are for. Then again ye could talk it out, and perhaps get some sorta deal goin on. Yer choice, as always. Now, once ya got an inn, complete with furnishings, supply lines, and contacts, with a clientele who comes often, the only thing left to do is hire some guards to protect from the occaisonal bandit attack, and you can let yer imagination fly.
Next issue: rowdy customers, and protection.
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Running Vampires as PCs
By Nathaniel Knight
Consider vampires for a moment. They were once human. Or else they were one of the other fabulous races that inhabit the various worlds of AD&D. What if they were a PC or character-class NPC before becoming a vampire? Couldn't they still retain that knowledge, or is it innately lost when they become a vampire? Is there any way to satisfy a vampire's thirst without blood? This article should clear up some of those questions. I submit these rules to anyone who wishes to know more about vampires, or maybe just wants to have a Vampire PC.
Section the First: Personality of the Vampire
I propose 3 methods of determining personality here, you can use any one you want.
Method One: Pure Soul Determination: This method is used when any Lawful Good PC becomes a vampire. They must make a savings check (on a percentile die) of no more than 4 times their Wisdom score to retain all of their knowledge, and a roll of 75% or less to retain their full alignment.
If this check fails, the PC becomes Lawful Evil. PCšs who make both checks successfully retain their personality and alignment, as well as having a reduced need for hunger. They are also unable to make vampires, or even drink blood, from any Lawful or Good aligned character, PC or NPC.
The character will die as if he/she was a normal member of his/her race, but will not be accepted in most towns, villages, etc. They will carry a vial of a substance known as Draculašs Wine with them at all times, to quench their thirst for blood. These PCs should be treated as normal, except for all rules applying to vampires except those pertaining to Holy Symbols, and Sunlight.
Method Two: Determination of Spirit: This method makes use of a process known as "blending". For this to apply, the parent vampire must die (ex: PC prepares stake with Holy Water, gets bitten, spills Holy Water on vampire.) before fully draining the targets blood. If this happens, the vampirešs spirit will live in the body of the PC, who is now driven by instinct to survive, for a number (1d4) of weeks. At the end of this time, the spirits collapseš from exhaustion. Over the next 4 days, the spirits blend, or combine to make a new whole. The stronger personality wins out in alignment, but the weaker wins in the area of blood hunger. To determine this, roll 1d3. A 1 means the Vampire wins, 2 means both are equal, and 3 means that good triumphs. This is only for personality, and the other personality is used for hunger.
Method Three: Free-willed Vampire: This PC is a full vampire. This means that: a) The vampire follows all the rules of normal vampires, except those pertaining to sunlight. b) The vampire drinks blood when thirsty. c) Accepts that he/she is a vampire. d) Is not Lawful Good in alignment.
Section the Second: Knowledge
I propose methods for having vampires learn knowledge here.
Rule K1: Learn power: Vampires have the ability to once a day, learn while draining someonešs blood. This knowledge is lost to the victim, and is given, perfectly, to the Vampire. If it is a skill, the Vampire learns it at the same skill level as the victim.
Rule K2: Hypnosis: Vampires have long been believed to possess the ability to hypnotize people. This is true, and it can be used to learn many things. This power however, has a great toll on the user. It drains him/her of 3 points of Constitution for 1d2 hours.
Rule K3: Remembrance: Vampires may sometimes remember skills from their former life. 60% of all PC vampires should recall their former life, and 30% of all NPC vampires should. This is also a skill which only the very long-lived races can learn. It should be limited to Elves, Gnomes, Dwarves, and Vampires. As a skill, it allows them to remember things from more than 10 years ago perfectly. The higher their skill, the further back they can remember.
Rule K4: Increased Intelligence: As vampires live such long lives, it should be assumed that they will learn many things. To account for this, add 1d3 Intelligence points for every 40 years they live as a vampire. This rule may also be applied to Elves, but count it as every 40 years from the time they begin adventuring/researching magic.
Section the Third: Remedies for everything but the common cold...
In this section, I will raise the issue of how vampires can live without actually drinking blood. There are herbs and potions that allow this, not a long sleep cycle, and not a meditative trance.
Remedy 1: Bloodroot: This is the root of the juniper plant. When ground into a powder and mixed with water, it turns into blood, which can be applied to a vampires wounds. All PCs should know about it, because it remains blood for 1d12 hours, and can be used to help replace lost blood.
Remedy 2: Bloodwort: This is a plant similar to cattails, except that it grows to about 10 inches tall, grows with 4 tails, one of which is flowering at any given time. This plant can be used completely. If you wait one day after removing one flower, another will open. After all of itšs flowers have been harvested, their stems can be picked. The roots can also be used, but only as a flavoring.
The flowers must be dried, and mixed into a tea. When this mixture is ingested, the user immediately receives 1d6 blood points per flower put into the tea. These blood points measure the relative health of a vampire. The stems can be crushed and used to make a salve that will stop bleeding and heal wounds. if applied within 3 rounds, minor regeneration may occur (15% chance). This would replace cut off parts of fingers and possibly even a nose.
Remedy 3: Draculašs Wine: This is a potion which only vampires can make. It will add 3d10+7 blood points to a vampire when drunk, and will quench their blood thirst. Cured vampires will also need it, if they havenšt had actual blood in the 2 days before they were cured.
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Greetings, mageling. This month, I have chosen to highlight spells brought to my attention by one Anthony Alfonso. He has one of those web-page things the younger mages keep going on about, which can be found here. He says some of these spells aren't his own, and some are. The ones that aren't his, he modified slightly.
By using a diamond to focus light, this spell creates a sudden flash of bright light in a 10' radius globe. All creatures within the area of effect who fail their save versus spells are blinded for 1d4 rounds. Those who make their save are merely dazed for 1d4 rounds, suffering a -2 penalty to hit and -2 penalty to AC. The caster, creatures outside the globe and those without eyes are unaffected by this spell. The material component of this spell is a diamond.
Range: 60 yards
When this spell is cast, the mage traps a ray of light inside a diamond. The diamond can then be carried around or worn by any creature. The light created from the diamond is similar to a light spell. The light is not brighter than torch light, and illuminates an area of 20' (radius) around the diamond. If brought into an area of magical darkness, the diamond's light cannot be seen, but will continue to shine if brought out of the area. The spell can be ended whenever the caster wants. The material component of this spell is a diamond.
Range: 180 yards
By means of this spell, the wizard creates a magical arrow that speeds to its target as if fired from a bow of a fighter of the same level as the wizard. There are no modifiers to range, non-proficiency or specialization used. The arrow is made of incredibly hard diamond, drawn from the quasi-plane of mineral. The arrow inflicts 1d8 damage. For every 3 levels of the caster, the arrow gains a +1 to hit and damage (+1 at levels 1-3, +2 for levels 4-6, +3 for levels 7-9, etc.), and counts as a magical weapon (+1 for levels 1-3, etc.). The material component of this spell is a diamond.
By using a diamond to focus light, a mage can cause a blazing beam to issue forth to strike 1 creature. The beam of light is about 1 foot wide, and can travel 50' + 10' / caster level. Anyone is the way of the spell is automatically hit and must make a save. Anyone who fails their save is struck full in the face by the beam and is blinded, suffering a -4 to attack rolls and anyone attacking him gains a +4 to hit. Dexterity bonuses do not apply to the save . The blindness lasts for 1d4 turns. If the save is failed, then they are merely dazed for 1d4 rounds. The material component of this spell is a diamond.
Range: 30 yards + 5 / level
This spell creates a razor sharp spinning blade of diamond from the quasi-plane of mineral. The caster can then direct this blade to attack any creature within range. No roll to hit is necessary. The blade automatically hit its target, causing 2d6 +1 / level. No save is allowed. The blade counts as a +1 magical weapon.
This spell creates a dagger sized chunk of diamond that can be wielded by the caster. The dagger is treated like a magical weapon although it has no bonuses to hit. It does 1d4 +2 damage to creatures hit in melee. The material component for this spell is a piece of diamond.
Range: 60 yards+10/level
When this spell is cast, the caster blows on a pile of crushed diamond, sending it flying. The crushed diamond spins around, viciously slicing and slashing any creatures within the cloud. The cloud originates in front of the caster who can direct its movement. The cloud travels at a speed of 9, and can move as far as the range allows. Any creature within the cloud takes 4d4 damage each round. Also, those within must make a save or be blinded for 1d4 rounds. The sand-storm like cloud causes stinging pain, making spellcasting impossible within the cloud. No save is allowed, but magic resistance halts the spell for that creature only.
This spell allows the wizard to pull a bit of material from the quasi-plane of mineral. The matter pulled is solid diamond, which can be used by the caster as a material component for other diamond spells. Only one diamond is created with this spell, and remains in existence for the duration of the spell, after which it disappears. The material component is a piece of diamond.
By casting this spell a wizard is able to break light down into its component colors with a diamond, and create a scintillating spray of lights. The lights shoot out from the diamond in all directions, hitting 1 to 7 creatures in the area. All creatures above 8 hit dice or with more hit dice than the caster, are entitled to a saving throw versus spells. Creatures not allowed or who fail their save are rendered unconscious for 2d4 rounds. Creatures without eyes and the caster are unaffected. Creatures especially weak to light (drow, goblins) have a -1 to their save. The material component for this spell is a diamond.
This spell allows the caster to trap a ray of light inside a diamond, and charge it with magical power. The spell energy is then released in a dazzling blast of light. Any creatures in the area are automatically blinded for 1 round, with no save or magic resistance roll. Creatures without eyes are not blinded. All undead creatures, creatures from the negative or outer planes and those that are weak to light (certain fungus or molds) take 1d6 damage / caster level, but suffer only half if they make their save. The caster is unaffected. The material component of this spell is a diamond.
When this spell is cast, the wizard enchants a diamond with a phantasmal power. Once cast, the wizard puts the diamond somewhere, or can give it to someone. The next person to pass it and have his reflection cast on the facets of the gem, activates the spell. When activated, the person who had his reflection cast will be surrounded by phantasmal clones of himself. Up to 1 clone per level of the caster appears, and each is exactly identical to the victim, including weapons, armor and appearance, but not including powers or magic items. The clones instantly attack. They are still illusions, but can cause illusionary damage. The clones attack with the casters thac0 . If a clone is hit, it vanishes. A creature overcome by his clones does not die, but is rendered unconscious. See illusions for more info. The material component of this spell is a diamond. Once activated, the spell duration is 1 round / level.
Improved Diamond Blade
Range: 10 yards / level
An improved diamond blade spell. This spell creates 1 razor sharp spinning blade of diamond from the quasi-plane of mineral for every 3 levels of the caster (2 at 6, 3 at 9, etc.). The caster can then direct these blades to attack any creatures within range. No roll to hit is necessary. The blades automatically hit their targets, causing 2d4 +1 / level. No save is allowed. The blades counts as a +3 magical weapons.
Range: 0 yards
By casting this spell, a mage is able to trap a ray of light within a diamond. The power inside is built up, but instead of releasing the energy, it is stored within until the diamond explodes. Once the light is trapped, the mage throws the gem, which has a maximum range of 30 yards. No to hit roll is necessary. When overcharged, the diamond explodes violently, sending shrapnel flying in all directions. The fragmented shards hit 1d4 creatures in the area. The shards slice through flesh, armor and anti-magic alike. The shards cause 2d8 damage plus 2 point per level of the caster (max of 2d8+30). Note that the shards themselves are not magical, so magic resistance does not apply. The diamond explodes with so much force, that they can hurt creatures only hit by magical weapons.
Range: 40 yards
When this spell is cast a globe of shimmering diamond encloses the target. The creature must fit inside the globe and is allowed a save versus spells to avoid it. The diamond sphere traps its target for the spell duration, and is not subject to damage or destruction from any attacks or spells except Disintegrate. This causes the sphere to vanish without harm to the target. Nothing can pass through the sphere, inside or out, except for light, but some spells cast on the inside have a chance of backfiring. Lightning and electricity spells have a 25% chance of backfiring and Light based spells have a 50% chance of backfiring. Light spells may still pass through from the outside, but there is a 50% chance the spell is dispersed harmlessly. The victim can struggle, but all that occurs is a shifting of the sphere. The sphere can be physically moved from the outside, but only if the caster wills. The material component of this spell is a diamond.
Range: 5 yards / level
This spell creates a wall of diamond. The wall of diamond is 1/4 of an inch thick per level of experience of the caster, and covers an area of 10' square per level. The wall is solid and cannot be destroyed by physical means. It is impervious to almost all spells, but Disintegrate can destroy it. One side of the wall, selected by the caster, emits a dazzling light. Anyone looking at or facing the wall must roll a save or be blinded 2d4 rounds. The other side of the wall can be seen through as if it were glass. No spells can pass through the wall, although spells can take shape behind it or even move around it, and even light based spells are refracted and dispersed harmlessly. It is impossible to see through the side that emits light, so gaze attacks do not function through it. The wall cannot be knocked over. A save must be made every round to avoid the blinding effects. It is possible for a spellcaster on the non-blinding side of the wall to still form spells on the other side.
By casting this spell a mage is able to capture a ray of light inside a diamond. The light is reflected over and over inside the diamond, building up power. After building up enough power, a mage is able to release the spell energy from the diamond. The spell can have three areas of effect. Either a straight beam from one end of the diamond, a multitude of smaller beams form the base of the diamond, or have rays exit from all facets of the diamond. The first effect has an area of 50' long per level of the caster, and can only hit one target. No attack roll is necessary; a save is allowed to avoid the beams and if the target fails his save, he is hit. A person hit by the beam suffers 1d8 points of damage for every level of the caster, and must save or be stunned for 1d4+2 rounds. The second effect covers a cone shaped area 50' long, 1 inch wide at the base, 25' wide at the end. A save is allowed for all characters in the area, but at -2. Anyone who fails the save suffers 1d6 damage per level, and anyone in the area must save or be blinded for 1d4+2 rounds. Releasing the spell energy from all facets of the gem is the third effect. The beams cover an area of 50' around the diamond (50' radius). Anyone in the area must save at -2 or be struck by a beam, taking 1d4 damage per level of the caster. Anyone in the area must also save or be blinded for 1d4+2 rounds.
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Top Ten Things Your Berserker Would Never Say
By Garry J. Sled
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